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Robert B. Livingston -
Subject: Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame is the narrator.
Please see my comment at:
Subject: simpler days
You know...I'm as liberal as a hippy biker can be, but watching these movies with their repressed conformist themes makes me sort of wish for a simpler times. Dad coming home from the office. Mom (missing in this video) upstairs making meat-loaf, and Phil (Dick York) having trouble making friends at a new school. Seems that back in 1947 there was a lot less pressure on teens, no facebook status updates, no text messaging, no ipods or cell-phones. Actual interaction with your peers. What is the equivlant of the 'drugstore' where the teens meet in this day and age? hanging out in front of 7-11? This is a good video that really takes you back to a time in America just after WW II, when everything was getting back to normal. Who knew 10 years later, Some kid from Tupelo Mississippi would screw everything up?
Retro Geek -
Subject: Still you can't forget that you're alone!
Phil is shy and has trouble making friends at his new school. It doesn't help him that the narrator continues to remind him that he cannot forget that he is alone...alone in a crowd.
His father recommends picking out one or two of the popular kids to see what it is about them that makes them popular. What he finds is that they listen to each other, act polite, and seem genuinely interested in helping others.
As we observe Phil, we begin to understand that PHIL is the problem. When he bumps into someone, he says nothing. "There it is again, even when you bump into people they hardly know you're alive". Wah..wah..wah. Phil is steeped in self-pity with ideas that nobody is nice to him or will talk to him.
However as we watch, we notice that others do politely acknowledge Phil and even hold the door open for him at times. We notice he's invited to sit with Chick and his friends at the drugstore to join them in their discussion of the class mixer. We notice that at the class mixer, someone is actually talking to him but he isn't listening AT ALL because he's eavesdropping on another conversation he isn't a part of. That's not very polite especially after he has already determined that people flock around a good listener.
So what exactly IS Phil's problem? What is it that Phil really wants?
It appears he wants the crowd flocked around HIM at the mixer listening to HIM talk. He wants to have them gathered around HIM admiring HIS brains and HIS keen sweater. He wants them to know HE is alive by begging HIM to come to their parties.
Yes narrator, he may still have his moments of doubt and fear but as long as he can eavesdrop, take over a conversation he wasn't originally a party to, and use the record player as leverage, he'll be able to overcome his shyness and achieve total domination.
AND THAT'S THE MAIN THING, ISN'T IT?
The film's message is a good one about learning to listen, being respectful and helping others. Those are valuable tools for getting along with others in society and are worth repeating today. I just don't think Phil really got it because he failed to recognize all the opportunities that presented themselves throughout the film to socialize as an integral part of the group as a whole. He seemed to want more attention on himself rather than others.
Still a great film and very entertaining to watch!
Subject: Teenage Lee Harvey Oswald
Check out the dude at 7:31.
Subject: Practical, timely advice
I don't understand the reviewers who seem determined to see something sinister in this film. The father isn't over-dressed. He's coming home from work and going downstairs to talk to his son who is home from school. Nothing sinister about there not being a mother - the father could be s single dad. The film doesn't say that the key to popularity is conformity to others. It says 'you have something to contribute to their conversation,' 'do and talk about what comes naturally to you' 'everyone is different' (rough quotes). The boy feels awkward because he doesn't dress like the other kids - it's HIS idea that he doesn't 'conform' to 'how kids are in this town.' And that's completely natural for kids and teenagers: young people are a herd of sheep, and anyone who says they are not conformists (even if they conform to the stereotype of being nonconformists) doesn't know anyone under thirty.
The father's advice is the same a psychologist friend of mine gives to shy people of all ages, kids and adults alike, and which I've given to my own (college-age) students who have wanted to make friends: Listen to others; take an interest in other people; offer to help.
There's nothing negative about the 'popular kids' here (unlike so many TV shows about toxic teens nowadays). These kids are popular because they like other people and reach out to them, listen to them and respect them - a good formula for anyone.
There's only one piece of advice missing: seek out a kid that also seems shy or friendless and make an effort to befriend him or her. Reaching out to someone else - especially another shy person who may also not know how to make friends - is one of the best ways to get over yourself and your shyness. As a naturally cripplingly shy person who has learned how to get along in any social situation, everything here makes sense. I only wish someone had told it to me before I was thirty.
This is actually a valuable video for parents to watch so they have some tips to help their shy children build the skills they need to function in a healthy, satisfying way in the company of others.
Subject: "Shy Guy" is well done
A well made guidance film for teenagers of 1947.
Many of the suggestions still hold true today.
Dick York was excellent, as was the entire supporting cast. Good direction, script, and photography.
Subject: Dick York Rules
A film with Dick York in it just can't be bad. But some of the other reviewers seem to have missed the point of this nice little film. Dad doesn't tell his son to conform. He says that everyone is different and that makes things interesting. Watching the "popular" kids teaches Dick to listen to what others have to say and to help out when you can. In other words, he should be thoughtful and kind. If that is outdated advice than times really have gotten worse.
Oh yeah, Dick York's ass looks huge in those pants.
Subject: Shyness Made Easy in less than 60 minutes...
Of course, it's a lot easier to overcome shyness without Samantha's mother messing things up for Darrin. Would Dan Rather steer us wrong?
J. DeKay -
Subject: Before he worked for McMahon & Tate...
Dick York can do no wrong... acting wise that is.
Even at this tender age, young Dick knows how to act with his eyes. Of course this was way before he landed a job at McMahon & Tate and married Samantha. Oddly, I find it impossible to watch this without thinking of Dick York looking strangely like Jim Carrey or vice versa!
Subject: Gee Dad!
Another strange Dick York Film.. Man, I am not too sure how, but he made the best!
Dick York is Shy Guy! He's having trouble meeting kids at school, he'd rather play around with his electronics. His dad comes downstairs, having apparently left his mob meeting or singing at the copa, because he's impossibly overdressed here, to try to get Shyguy out of his shell! Wear more sweaters! Seek out the popular folk! Eavesdrop on people's conversations!
Soon Dick is doing that, and well, he's the hit of the School Mixer! Heck that would be easy if all there was were apples and people singing 'Oh Susannah".
Amelie Moment: Check out where the lockers are. What the hell?
Anyways, a MUST SEE on this site!
Subject: Welcome to Stepford
This film follows the standard socialization message of the 50's: If you want to be liked, don't be like you, be like them, or as Frank Burns once said "Individuality's fine... as long as we all do it together." In terms of the performances, Dick York does everything he can to bring life to the pedantic script; father is an authorative wind-bag, and the high school buddies -- well, let's just say that our boy might just want to spend more time in the basement soldering the amplifier to the oscillator (ick!).
Subject: The Shy Guy
Subject: He was a shy boy, worked in the basement
Serial-killer-to-be Dick York (Sam!) can't figure out how to make friends with the popular kids. Of course, the idea that he's a nerd who hangs out in the basement making radio sets never occurs to himself, or his extremely helpful father.
On his dad's advice, Dick begins stalking the most popular kids in school, hoping to copy them. Actually, that isthe surest route to popularity I can think of.
Funny stuff, with some good advice about reaching out to others. Now Dick won't have to write manifestos and learn how to wire other things in the basement he calls home!
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Shy Guy
Another 50's "social guidance" film starring Dick York. This time he's a shy, geeky teenager who would rather tinker with inventions in the basement than make friends at the new school he's just started at. His dad (he doesn't seem to have a mom) urges him to conform: "If the other kids wear sweaters, then you wear sweaters!" Who was responsible for this anywayÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂdid they really realize what they were telling kids? It's utterly amazing to watch a parent actually urging his kid to give in to peer pressure.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****. Also available on The Educational Archives, Vol. 2: Social Engineering 101, Mental Hygiene, and Our Secret Century, Vol. 3: The Behavior Offensive.
Subject: Shy Guy is an Absolute Classic
Can you imagine what your father might say if he wandered into your basement labratory to give you social advice? How about "Son, just find out what all the popular kids are doing, and do that. You'll be popular in no time."
If my dad had told me that, I would have taken up drugs, engaged in casual sex and taught myself how to smoke at age 15. However, in this Dick York classic, his father's advice yields a number of desirable social lessons, including the art of listening, and how to be helpful.
Cheese abounds in this short, but the lessons are sound. Did you notice the narrator's voice yet? I'll give you a hint...you get exactly one hour to figure it out.